Neruppu Da! Please, of course you’ve used this phrase atleast once (or a million times) in the recent past. The craze is so much that it even inspired Vikram Prabhu to title his upcoming film after the Kabali track. Possibly Rajini’s most iconic song in decades, the infectious track has surpassed numerous social media records and heralded an umpteen numbers of covers.
Different avatars, ranging from an acoustic version to a drums-inspired recreation, have been doing the rounds online — which even prompted composer Santhosh Narayanan to share a few of them on his official Facebook and Twitter pages.
Overwhelmed at the number of versions online, lyricist-singer-actor Arunraja Kamaraj, who has become an overnight sensation, believes that covers have the ability to bring one’s talent out in the open — “I’ve always been a big fan of covers. I think it’s a perfect platform for the fans to pay tribute to their favourite songs and this also serves as a huge inspiration for us. I make a special appearance in rapper Lady Kash’s cover and the promo video has got a fantastic response.”
The video has clocked in over 20,000 views within 24 hours — and Lady Kash’s association with actor Rajinikanth goes back to his Endhiran days! Remember the rap portion in Irumbile oru Irudhayam? Kash was the one who lent her vocals then, and being a huge Thalaivar fan herself, wanted to come up with her own twist on his new anthem.
She says, “Santhosh Narayanan loved the idea of my rendition to Neruppu Da, which came about very naturally and the project was taken forward by the team in conjunction with my unit Aashik. I have been associated with Think Music India previously for Endhiran as well, which established a wonderful connection to the project and it felt like a complete circle. This cover is for our beloved Superstar and his ardent fans.”
Whereas Canadian sister-duo Aara and Aathy gave Neruppu Da a traditional twist using the veena! Aara says, “We derived the notes just by listening to the BGM used in the Kabali teaser repeatedly, and covered it by sections. As I derived the main melodic phrases, my elder sister, Aathy, would play chords using three out of the four main strings, which added emphasis to the corresponding notes. Since this BGM piece is played originally using an electric guitar and has a strong/ hard-hitting feel, we plucked the strings with force and attempted to mimic the strumming of a guitar.”
The duo was awestruck seeing the response for their cover version and has also received offers from various bands. Calling it a surreal feeling, Aara and Aathy say they feel incredibly special to play the veena and have people share their music and appreciate it.
Other cover versions that grabbed the limelight were the 8 bit Universe’s cover, which they dedicated to lyricist and signer Arunraja Kamaraja. The Mario inspired 8-bit version of Neruppu Da received over 8,000 views on YouTube.
An African singer Zazu has rendered a simple acoustic version of the song and he claims that the song has been stuck in his head ever since he listened to it. Nur Amira Syahira, a 13-year-old Malaysian drummer has done a drum cover of the Kabali number as well, just to mention a few!
Neruppu Da has not just inspired music lovers, but also many dancers who have come up with different versions of choreography to the track. Every time, a Rajinikanth movie releases, it creates new records, but with Neruppu Da, the word ‘record’ feels so small because Neruppu... has become a worldwide phenomenon now!...